Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Historical Fiction, Paranormal
Source: Purchased on Amazon
Purchase: Kindle, Paperback
Summary: In the English society of 1768 where women are bred to marry, unattractive Alexia, just sixteen, believes she will end up alone. But on the county doorstep of a neighbor’s estate, she meets a man straight out of her nightmares, one whose blue eyes threaten to consume her whole world—especially later when she discovers him standing over her murdered host in the middle of the night.
Among the many things to change for her that evening are: her physical appearance—from ghastly to breathtaking, an epidemic of night terrors predicting the future, and the blue-eyed man’s unexpected infusion into her life. Not only do his appearances precede tragedies, but they are echoed by the arrival of ravenous, black-robed wraiths on moonless nights.
Unable to decide whether he is one of these monsters or protecting her from them, she uncovers what her father has been concealing: truths about her own identity, about the blue-eyed man, and about love. After an attack close to home, Alexia realizes she cannot keep one foot in her old life and one in this new world. To protect her family she must either be sold into a loveless marriage, or escape with the man of her dreams and risk becoming one of the Soulless
The Good: Crystal has done amazing world building and we get to meet Alexia and her family at a crucial time in her life. The at first unsightly Alexia is quickly transformed into a beautiful young lady but like all 'quick fixes' this comes at a price and she is thrust into a world where humans aren't the only beings on earth and moonless nights are not the time to for a night stroll. Readers will be drawn into a world where females are raised to be married to better their families and even Alexia's father who's more lenient than most has his expectations of her. These are thrown asunder however with the appearance of the mysterious Kiren and the crazy (like a fox in my opinion) yet deliciously clever Bellezza. Alexia's transformation not just from teenager to womanhood but also from being thought of as a human of noble blood to one of the special beings called the 'Passionate' is chronicled in Moonless and we readers get to see her go from a sheltered girl to a brave heroine is ready not to just fight for her family but for love as well. No matter the costs. Also you get to read snippets of other characters perspectives and get the chance to see how others view Alexia and all the craziness brought not just by her antics but also the dangerous Soulless who lurk waiting to grab their next victim.
The Bad: Sigh, the following is why Moonless can't get five stars from me. It is a five star story but the following issues just don't mesh well for me. First at the beginning Alexia was okay, not great but ok. Then she got pretty and then got whiny bitchy in my opinion. I get that she wants to find out about the transformation and the mysterious Kiren. But she seems to run to danger, grab it by the neck, then whine when it bites back. Seriously I hated her for the first 40% of my kindle read and would have abandoned the book if the surrounding story and other characters didn't hold my attention. I got to liking her later and loving her before the end but it's never good to hate the MC for almost half a book. This I don't fault the author for, it's my own personal tastes. Second I just can't stand it when girls run headlong into danger after a guy, seriously, there isn't a shortage of males on the planet. I get that she is in love but come on, this is so overdone it's tragic that such a wonderful book has such an overused theme. Third I actually loved secondary characters like Bellezza and Miles way more than Alexia and their lives drew much more interest to me. I know secondary characters should help the story but they actually stole the show and made Alexia look somewhat petty and bland in comparison. Also there were parts of the novel that were somewhat boring and caused sections to limp along until something exciting happened to jolt the story along.
My Verdict: This is a well written novel and despite my hang ups it was a really good read. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys young adult books that are different from the regular fare and those who just want to read a really good book. Alexia matured in the book and I got to like her and Kiren's bond but the issue was how long it took me to like her and I leave her likeability up to each individual reader. The supporting characters are amazing and if you want a read that is chock full of exciting characters this is the book for you. Whether you love romance, adventure, crazed super children like Bellezza (though she looks thirteen), paranormal insanity and main characters who can make you fall in love or drive you batty...Moonless is ready to take on the ride of your life. And I personally am ready for a sequel. Plus novellas staring secondary characters from the series. Please?
Rating: 4 Stars